Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fun with recycling, part 2

There is a scene in the movie Never Been Kissed that has always haunted me a bit. Drew Barrymore’s character is having a relaxing evening at home, alone, working on some needlepoint. She is making a cute little pillow. She finishes the pillow and takes it to a bedroom where she sets it on the bed and admires it with love. Then you realize there are a LOT of other cute little pillows! This woman obviously has no life. On the one hand I think, “What a loser!” and on the other hand I think, “Hey, I resemble that!” It wasn’t too many years ago you could find me curled up in my one-room basement apartment, watching endless re-runs of Stargate and quilting till I had no feeling left in my fingers. Talk about nerdy. =) (Hey – I wasn’t always an urban homesteader!)

Anyway, I’ve been making some pillows and I always think of that movie and hope I’m not that bad.

I couldn’t be, because these are cool pillows! I had a bunch of leftover men’s ties from a tie skirt project and – in another flash of inspiration – realized these could make cool pillows. I was looking at the skinny part of the tie and realized here was all this fabric already in perfect 2” strips. So I made some pillows in the Log Cabin Style.

The first step is to pick a few ties. For a traditional Log Cabin you want one value for one side and a different value for the other side - light and dark, or just two distinct colors. And I pick a tie end for the center that is different from the rest of the ties.

I use a zig-zag stitch to topstitch all the ties together. Yep, the whole tie with the stuffing inside and all. It gives it a nice puffy feel at the end.

Each piece is just a little longer than it needs to be (and I cut as I go). This is because silk is shifty and sometimes you'll find it's a bit shorter than you remember!

I don't sew down the tie tip, so when you get this part hold that tip up.

and then...


...keep going!

At some point this might happen - the tie suddenly gets thicker! This is usually where I stop. But you can go ahead and sew it on; the extra bit can be trimmed off later (unless you want a really wacky shape to your pillow, which is fine).


Here are some others I made:

Even after all those, there are still lots of beautiful silk scraps to use, in which case you can try the crazy quilt method.

You just cut out random shapes (often triangular) and sew them down on a square of fabric.




The cool thing about silk is that it can be forced into some curves that are too difficult with cotton.

Done! (The curve in the blue tie in the upper left was a little too extreme and left a couple puckers. Oh well.)

Here's another one:

I should note that most of these aren't actually made into pillows yet - they're just the tops.

All of these will be heading to Kansas City with me (along with the bags) and if there are any left, they’ll be up on Etsy!


Anna said...

Those are really very cool. I love the crazy quilt ones. I should do that with some of my Dad's old ugly 70's ties. It would be pretty fun.

Aimee said...

I am of the opinion that quite a few ties would look better as pillows than as ties. I am sure that would include those ties from the 70s - awesome pillows! =)

Jessica (your sister) said...

what are the backs going to be made of? Cotton doesn't seem to match and more silk probably would be a bit too I wonder what you will use...

Aimee said...

With some previous pillows I did use another silk. That made for some slippy-slidy pillows!
For this new batch I'm using a sort of velvet material. Remember the skirt I made for Amaya that was dark red with the fringe? It's that material. I have loads of it that someone gave me from a project she never did. It looks really good with the coloring of the pillows and makes them a little less slippy-slidy. =)

Jessica (your sister) said...

I wonder if corduroy would work? That was kind of what I was imagining.

Aimee said...

Yep, that would work too.